I am currently dealing with a death in my family and it’s taking all my time and attention, which is the reason for the next update’s delay. Hopefully I can get back to it by next week.
I have not used this blog to write anything personal. It wasn’t intended for that, and I’m not an interesting enough person to keep a diary. You don’t have to read on if you’re not interested in sleep-deprived ramblings.
There’s a moment of emotional vacuum, a space left over in the heart after that first stunning blow. I stood with my mother when she heard the news that her father had passed away. For some, that vacuum begins to fill immediately. I watched as she began to cry. I stood there, within arm’s reach, and all I could do was see what was happening. I felt nothing. I still feel nothing. It’s possible I’ll go on feeling nothing until the funeral, and beyond. I know it will take time before my heart is ready to express itself.
Like anything else, dealing with death is a process that becomes easier with experience. My grandfather died hundreds of kilometres away. My father died while I held his hand. I was the last person he ever saw–if he could see at all by that point. I was the last person he ever heard. I said the things I had to say. I said them for me. I kept myself together. I felt nothing. I couldn’t tell if that was the same thing. For a while I was sure that I was broken, that there was something wrong with me.
Expressing myself out loud has never been one of my strengths. When my father died I didn’t speak to anyone about it, about how I eventually felt. And I did feel. The vacuum collapsed, and the emotions tried to suffocate me. It wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t what I wanted. There was grief, of course, but I’d already been dealing with that intellectually. You’re supposed to feel sad about someone dying. I wasn’t ready for the rest, not for the guilt, not for the anger, not for the regret–a feeling wholly different from the sorrow. I fell in around myself, unable to deal with it in any healthy way. I had never felt so alone, which is silly, but emotions are what they are.
I had to kick start my own recovery. I wrote letters that I never sent, keeping them folded and hidden under my mattress, in a place where even I wouldn’t read them. It’s not important that I said what I had to say to anyone in particular, only that I said it. I would cry in the shower, the only place that I felt safe letting go like that. I didn’t want anyone else to see what was going on, because months had passed. I’m not sure how that worked out in the end, whether anyone saw me feeling anything. Maybe I came across as a robot.
There’s not a lot my father and I agreed upon, but we can’t help but acquire traits through osmosis. He gave me an appreciation for music, and I think it worked the same for him as it does for me. He was not that expressive with his emotions, either, except for bursts of anger. His grief over his own father’s death happened before I was born, and how he dealt with the loss of his mother is only one more loss to my poor memory. But I heard the music he played and listened to every day.
Music does deal with logic or complex ideas. Other art serves that purpose. What music does is far more profound. It cuts through the barriers, it crosses the gaps, and it wraps itself around the heart. I needed music to get through, to sympathize with my feelings, or to guide me on the way to them. Music remains an important part of my life. If I were ever to write about something other than games or fiction, I would write about music.
I have nothing else to say right now. But here are some songs that I’m listening to.